Eugene tosses 40 million pounds of food into the local landfill each year. Half of this food waste comes from homes. The other half comes from commercial food-generating businesses. When food waste goes to the landfill its breakdown creates harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Food waste is not an issue confined to Eugene. Half of the produce grown in the U.S. is trashed because it’s bruised, misshapen, discolored or has some other deformity that does not in any way compromise its food safety. While all this food goes to waste, 1 in 6 Oregonians go hungry. In the United States, an estimated 20-40% of food never makes it to the grocery store – mostly because of excessively strict cosmetic standards. Globally, a third of all the food produced in the world is never consumed.
Food waste creates huge issues both locally and abroad. We support efforts to combat our global food waste epidemic and draw awareness to food that is wasted throughout the supply chain. Here are some area resources that are working to reduce food waste associated with cosmetically challenged food items: